Industries of the Future: Finding Careers in High Demand

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A female doctor analyzes a virtual image of a patient X-ray

Several fundamental forces are shaping the job market, influencing the industries of the future that will outperform other fields and provide more opportunities for employment and professional growth. Such forces include the growth of technology, manufacturing, and healthcare. Americans increasingly rely on new technology and everyday items that connect to the Internet of Things, creating a need for professionals who can manage such technology. In the wake of the American recession, manufacturing as an industry has not just recovered, but grown. Finally, demographics in the U.S. have seen a shift as the baby boomer population ages, putting more demands on the healthcare industry to provide skilled service and care.

These factors are a few of the evolving dynamics that are influencing the future of employment in the U.S. As we look to the future, there are many ways to leverage opportunities associated with these diverse career paths.

The Industries of the Future Offering Big Opportunity

Some industries are booming as a result of changes in the way we live, particularly healthcare, manufacturing, and cybersecurity. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts healthcare will add 2.4 million jobs from 2016 to 2026. Over that same period, the BLS estimates that the number of jobs for information security analysis, a cyber security role, will grow by 28%. Considering that the national average for job growth is 6%, this is a rapidly expanding field that is on track to add a significant number of jobs to the economy. And while manufacturing is changing in response to new advances in technology, this industry has added tens of thousands jobs in recent years alone, according to the BLS. Analysts expect each of these industries to continue growing in the coming years, and each offers many opportunities for those entering the job market or looking to advance within it.

High Demand for Healthcare Professionals

The shifts in healthcare are largely in response to an aging population and expanded technology. There is a high demand in particular for nurse practitioners, given a national shortage of doctors, as well as those with high-level or specialized skills, such as nurses with doctorate degrees. According to, some of the fastest-growing jobs in healthcare are physician assistants, physical therapists, registered nurses, and related job titles, like pharmacists.

The opportunities in healthcare aren’t limited to those directly working with patients. There are, in fact, many opportunities in managerial and administrative capacities. Jobs in medical and health services management are growing at an estimated rate of 20% from 2016 to 2026, per the BLS. As Americans continue to rely on generalized healthcare, specialized care, and home healthcare into the future, industries like healthcare and health services management will continue to dominate employment in the U.S.

Cyber Security Professionals Secure Digital Businesses

Many industries now rely on internet databases to store sensitive information, exchange data, and conduct business. As digital business grows and becomes the norm, hackers find more opportunity for cyber crime. Breaches of digital security can cost companies more than money; they also threaten their reputations and customers’ privacy. Many businesses today need to rely on the expertise of cyber security professionals to ensure that they are operating safely in the digital world.

Cyber security professionals help prevent attacks by creating and evolving infrastructure that meets all the latest security standards. They also proactively prepare for and respond to threats by developing software that responds to them in real time. They regularly test the systems that are in place to ensure their efficacy, continually testing data processing measures and verifying security protocols. They may also interact with and educate others in their company to make sure everyone understands the best practices that keep their sensitive information safe. In recognition of their important role, the BLS anticipates companies will generate 28,500 new information security analyst positions between 2016 and 2026.

Manufacturing Boom Reflects a Diversity of Jobs

Every indication given by the statistics, according to Marketwatch, shows growth across the past several years, and analysts expect the industry to continue to do well into the future. The BLS reported an addition of about 264,000 manufacturing jobs from December 2017 to December 2018 across the economy. Part of the reason for the growth is that manufacturing doesn’t simply entail work in mills and factories, but includes work in environments that produce almost anything, like bakeries. Given the wide range of industries that fall under the umbrella of manufacturing — everything from apparel to electronics to fabricated metal manufacturing — it’s no wonder the industry has seen a boom.

Manufacturing offers positions for individuals with a variety of skill sets. Whether you’re interested in engineering or fabrication, there are many opportunities here. In manufacturing, like all of the industries of the future, a strong understanding of new technology and how to work with it will be an asset.

Preparing for the Industries of the Future

Healthcare, cyber security, and manufacturing are a few of the future industries expected to offer workers healthy paychecks, prospects for advancement, and a level of security in their profession. Within each of these paths, there is significant opportunity to use professional skills and pursue unique interests, whether that’s a specialized form of nursing or a passion for coding.

Start off with a foundational education that anticipates the demands of future industries to help prepare you to step into the job market of the future. Explore the many different degrees available online at Maryville University, and equip yourself with valuable knowledge that may help you enter any of these growing professional fields.


Forbes, “What are the $10+ Billion Big Industries of the Future?”

Inc., “What are the Industries of the Future and How can we Prepare?”

MarketWatch, Manufacturing Jobs Growing at Fastest Rate in 23 Years, “12 Fastest Growing Jobs in Healthcare”

Reuters, “U.S. Manufacturing Production Increases, Headwinds Growing”

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Databases, Tables, & Calculators by Subject, Manufacturing

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Economic News Release

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Healthcare Occupations

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Information Security Analysts

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Healthcare Occupations